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Letters to the Editor - March 26

March 26, 2012

Bruchey not the one to get stadium built

To the editor:

Recently, there has been much debate about whether and where a new stadium would be built in the City of Hagerstown. I have also read recent Herald-Mail editorials praising Bob Bruchey’s “leadership” in pushing for a new stadium, but criticizing the rest of the City Council for their inaction. Please allow me to make my position on this issue very clear and to respectfully disagree with the praise for the current mayor of Hagerstown.

I have been a lifelong Suns fan and was lucky enough to be the batboy for the Suns as a kid for four seasons, starting in the late 1980s. We have had many affiliations since 1981, but our name and our hometown baseball pride has remained constant, and Hagers-town’s baseball history runs much deeper. I believe that keeping the Suns in Hagerstown is important to Hagerstown’s overall economic future and that investing in the right kind of stadium project will not only benefit the Suns, but the community as a whole.

Municipal Stadium, in its current state, is unacceptable for minor league baseball, and efforts to maintain it over the years can grossly be equated to putting lipstick on an old pig. The biggest problem with the current stadium’s location is the surrounding waterways, Town Creek and Marsh Run primarily, which can create flooding. But they also have the potential to become amen-ities around which revitalization of an entire corridor stretching from Antietam Creek to the old hospital site could occur. A new stadium could be integral in this kind of effort.

The Hagerstown Planning Commission, on which I have served for the last five years, purposefully put off rezoning the old hospital site because we are looking at this as a special planning area in the 2010 Small Areas Plan. I recommend everyone read this plan, easily searched online, especially the area on the Hagerstown East End Redevelopment Plan. It takes someone with the vision and skills to resolve the inevitable conflicts, especially related to funding, to implement and execute a plan like this, and I argue Bob Bruchey is not the person to get the job done.

In fact, Bruchey has been mayor for 10 of the last 15 years, and what have we gotten? We’ve gotten lots of promises, but certainly no real plan for achieving any goals, nor any real or sustainable change. What we get now is another election year boondoggle proposal made in panic mode. There are many arguments against building a new stadium downtown, but the process by which the “downtown” stadium has been rolled out has been atrocious and just speaks to the ineffective kind of back-room dealing and toxic secrecy that we get with Bruchey as mayor. If Bruchey is so sure that building a stadium in The Herald-Mail’s parking lot will create a positive economic impact, why pay all that money for a study to prove it?

We need to stop playing victim to our circumstances and elect to put ourselves in a position to take positive risks for positive growth through planning and cooperation. A new multi-use stadium, as part of a comprehensive East End Redevelopment Plan, could be just such an opportunity. Real leadership, with trust and transparency, creates the circumstances that will allow positive change to happen.

David S. Gysberts
Hagerstown


Editor’s note: The writer is a candidate for mayor of Hagerstown.



Garagiola is the right choice in District 6

To the editor:

As the April 3rd Primary Election approaches, I would like to emphasize my strong support for Rob Garagiola, Democratic congressional candidate in District 6. I had the opportunity to work with him in the Maryland Legislature, and quickly came to trust and respect his leadership and legislative abilities. Because of that trust and respect, we partnered on a number of important clean energy, environment, transportation, and consumer protection and banking initiatives.

He works across party lines, for all Marylanders. He is a smart, passionate and proven public servant. I am proud to serve as his campaign treasurer.

As a state senator, he is hard at work right now in the General Assembly in Annapolis, limiting his campaign time. I know from personal experience that he will work just as hard for all of us in District 6.

You can see his record by visiting the General Assembly’s home page at mlis.state.md.us. You can also visit his congressional campaign website at www.robgaragiola.com.

C. Sue Hecht
Frederick, Md.

Editor’s note: The writer is a former member of the Maryland House of Delegates.



A vote for Bartlett is a costly one

To the editor:

Roscoe Bartlett vows he will repeal “Obamacare” in his latest campaign ad. Catchy? Huh! He does not spend any of his contributions offering replacement options.

Repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act will fall dearly on the middle class. Adults younger than 26 will no longer be eligible to remain on their parents’ health insurance. Portability for those with pre-existing conditions would be affected. Repeal would allow health insurance companies the ability to increase customer costs arbitrarily. Your employer could reduce your health benefits at a whim.

Come on, Mr. Bartlett, support your voters instead of corporations and lay off the demagoguery. If that’s your message, a replacement representative is preferable; perhaps, someone younger, a representative in touch with working class economics. Voters, review your health insurance costs over the past few years. Expect that figure to rise when Bartlett and his colleagues replace the Affordable Health Care Act with their non-plan.

Ask Bartlett what his position is on student debt, home foreclosure, public employees’ rights to collective bargaining, and workers’ rights in general. It is important to know how much a vote for Roscoe Bartlett will cost you.

M. Douglas Becker
Hagerstown

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